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Norwegian Birthdays Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Culture, Food, Traditions

Norske bursdager, bursdager i Norge.  Bursdagstradisjoner i Norge are not all that different than here in the U.S., or in many other western countries either.  Regardless, I thought it appropriate to dedicate a post to bursdager and say a few words about how they are celebrated in Norway and what kind of vokabulær is used.  When et norsk barn (a Norwegian child) has a bursdag, he or she chooses their bestevenn (best friend) to dance in front of the klasserom while the bursdagsang is sung.  Bursdagsangen is called ”Hurra for Deg” and goes like this:

Norsk                                                                                                        English translation

Hurra for deg som fyller ditt år! Hurrah for you, who’s birthday it is!
Ja, deg vil vi gratulere! Yes, you we will congratulate!
Alle i ring omkring deg vi står Everyone in ring around you we stand
og se, nå vil vi marsjere, And look, now we want to march,
bukke, nikke, neie, snu oss omkring, Bend, bow, nod, we turn around,
danse for deg med hopp og sprett og spring, Dance for you with jump and bounce and skip,
Ønske deg av hjertet alle gode ting! Wish you from our heart every good thing!
Og si meg så hva vil du mere – Gratulerer! And tell me now, what more do you want – Congratulations!
Høyt våre flagg vi svinger, Hurra! High our flags wave, Hurrah!
Ja nå vil vi riktig feste! Yes now we want to really party!
Dagen er din, og dagen er bra, The day is yours, and the day is good,
men du er den aller beste! But you are the very best one!
Se deg om i ringen hvem du vil ta! Look at the ring who you want to take!
dans en liten dans med den du helst vil ha! Dance a little dance with the one you want to have!
Vi vil alle sammen svinge oss så glad. We all want to swing with you so glad.
 As expected with any child that has been introduced to sjokolade, norske barn typically have sjokoladekake, and often also red jello with vaniljesaus at bursdagsfester.  Parents will often fly the norsk flagg on their child’s bursdagNorske flagg are flown on the streets when it is the bursdag of an important person, such as a member of the royal family.When it is someone’s bursdag, you say ”Gratulerer med dagen!”  If you remember from my post about syttende mai, the same phrase is used.  There have been many occasions lately for me to say ”Gratulerer med dagen.”  3 of my friends have had bursdager in the last few weeks, niesen min hadde bursdag (my niece had a birthday) yesterday, and this past søndag was pinse (Pentecost), a helligdag that many would say is kirkens bursdag (the church’s birthday)!And finally, an oppskrift (recipe) for bløtkake-another kind of traditional norsk bursdagskake:Blotkake with strawberries and whipping cream

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Filling:
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
Strawberry or raspberry preserves.Whip cream and sugar until peaks form. If you whip cream too much you will end up with butter.

Reserve cream for decorating top and sides. Place into fridge while preparing filling. Also, reserve whipped cream to fill pastry-decorating bag to make pretty designs on cake.

Fold preserves and whip cream together to place between layers.

Cut 4 pieces of wax paper about 5″ each and put on edges around a glass cake plate. Place cake on plate. Remove wax paper when the cake is fully decorated. Edges of plate will stay clean and cake will look more appetizing when you serve it.

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Slice the birthday cake into 3 layers. Transfer 1st layer onto plate and spread whipped cream and strawberry filling on top using a cake-decorating knife. It is wide and has a round tip instead of a point and is great for decorating.

Place 2nd layer on top. Continue same process until you have all three layers done. Do not spread berry filling on top layer unless you want a pink cake.

oppskriften from another great norsk blogg:  http://www.norway-hei.com/blotkake-birthday-cake-recipe.html

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!